Below is a letter I sent earlier this week regarding the SportsPlex analysis. I think we are all interested public opinion on this topic. We probably cannot “slow boat” this analysis without consequences. 🧐👇
VIA EMAIL ONLY:
Judge Executive Craig Clymer
Commissioner Bill Bartleman
Commissioner Jeff Parker
Deputy Judge Steve Doolittle
RE: SportsPlex Report and Analysis
The purpose of this correspondence is to provide a written report as to our meeting with Norm Gill of Pinnacle Indoor Sports. On April 22, 2019, Commissioner Bill Bartleman and I met with Norm Gill of Pinnacle Indoor Sports and Tim Stonecipher of the SportsPlex to view the SportsPlex building and property. The following is a summary of the information we received from Norm Gill’s initial evaluation (along with a few of my thoughts).
- Norm was very familiar with the type of building as he has previously built similar buildings. Norm estimated that the price for a “turn-key” building like the SportsPlex would be approximately $8,000,000.00 plus the cost of land. Norm conceded that the building is probably too large and is probably not the size he would recommend for our community. However, Norm also observed that the interior walls separating two significant sized areas of the building could be removed and the building could be repurposed to include a running track or even an elevated running track. Norm also suggested that the building could be easily retrofitted to include additional activities that would complement sports activities and general community use.
- Significantly, with regard to the “100 year flood plain”, Norm discounted much of the prior expressed concern about the location of the property as either in or near a flood plain. Norm said he has worked on projects all across the nation. In the Eastern United States, communities are actually intentionally building outdoor sports fields in flood retention basins knowing that those basins will flood. Important to the analysis is the type of flooding which could occur. “Standing water” as opposed to “turbulent water” makes a significant difference in the analysis. Also important to the analysis is the expected length of time the flood water will remain. According to Norm, occasional backwater flooding can actually be good for a field.
- During the session, we also obtained a site map which shows the elevations of the property. The property near the road has an elevation of 341 feet. The lowest elevation on the property is on the back left corner near Black Branch. That elevation is 6 feet lower than the road at 335 feet. Norm suggested that a high percentage of the concern regarding flooding could be accommodated by building moats around the fields raising the level of the field with the extra fill which will result from the creation of the moats. You may have noticed that Mike Miller Park in Marshall County has moats around its small soccer fields.
- You will notice that the attached drawing has the layout of potential soccer fields and we were shown additional drawings in which there has been previous analysis of obtaining additional undeveloped property for even more fields.
- I think it is a very important consideration that this property is immediately adjacent to a state highway. Let me say that point one more time. This property is immediately adjacent to a state highway which neither the City nor the County has to maintain (with an existing traffic light). In addition, the infrastructure including utilities, water and sewer are all immediately adjacent to this property.
- We also learned that immediately behind the SportsPlex, the owners have previously developed a baseball field in which water lines for a sprinkling system have already been prepared or installed.
- We also learned that the lake near the back edge of the property is actually a constructed lake by the owners for the purpose of possible recreational uses. In one of my most recent visits, I encountered a local fisherman who told me he fishes the lake nearly every weekend and it has an abundance of good sized bass. He also told me the only place he has ever seen standing water is in the back left corner near the elevation of 335 feet.
- As a parent, I cannot over emphasize the convenience of having the SportsPlex located near McCracken County’s High School. The convenience that comes from having these activities all located at the same spot will make parenting and the logistics of “after school activities” much easier on parents and students.
- I have been told by a local developer that he has significant interest in our preservation of the SportsPlex and our efforts to preserve the SportsPlex are encouraging to his efforts to develop a new subdivision near the SportsPlex property.
- I believe that it is imperative that we act quickly and purposefully on this project. I believe a high percentage of McCracken County will be disappointed if we let this property become something other than the SportsPlex. I am very convinced “timing is of the essence.”
- I believe this is an opportunity to work toward a City County Park Service and the elimination of this property from consideration because it lies just outside City limits is inconsistent with a notion of a potential City County Park Service. Admittedly, this topic has not received a lot of our conversation to date but please know this commissioner has interest in such a plan.
Please contact me with your questions.
Edwin A. Jones
Enclosures: Topographic Survey
Preliminary Site Plan
cc: Mayor Harless
Paducah City Commissioners
P.S. I represent the City of Oak Grove, Kentucky in some civil litigation. In a “government type” conversation, the Mayor told me that both Christian County and the City of Oak Grove charge a separate hotel tax. (Interesting!)
LT City County re SportsPlex pros
Plex Preliminary Site Plan
Plex Topographic Survey
Thank you Mr. Jones! McCracken County desperately NEEDS this!! Lets make it happen!!
I love this idea! I’m hoping the baseball field will still take place along with all the soccer fields. I believe the kids need a facility/sports complex to continue to be involved in their activities. McCracken County Highschool could always benefit since the location is right there. I fully support this plan for our children and future athletes!
This would be great! Thanks for all your work to bring more opportunities and greater facilities to Paducah! I really hope this happens.
This is awesome to help Paducah get on track with other cities its size.I’ve been whining for a while seeing all the money the other cities are brining in on weekends with food, hotels and just makes your town look nicer, then kids want to be a part. Good job!
Our boys play travel soccer and baseball. Having our own facilities here locally would bring so much revenue to our community! Hotels and Restaurants would reep the benefits!! Families coming in will get gas and will shop here! It’s a win win for everyone.
I v’e been a high school and club coach in the area for almost 20 years and It’s time to bring teams from the Louisville and Lexington to our town. A new soccer park would attract those teams and help grow our sport here in western Kentucky. Think of the revenue you could bring to our town hosting several tournaments a year. Our youth deserve the best of the best.
Please consider building this facility! It would be wonderful for our kids!!!
I can’t even begin to describe how important this facility could be, not only for our community but for our soccer players! Right now, our children play on top of a former dump! We can’t even have lights because it will break the “seal” that keeps the harmful gases underground. The ground is constantly in need of repairs. Many times our teams are having to scramble to find a field to practice on because the others are too wet or not in good enough shape to safely play. Our kids are committed to game. Many are part of the Olympic Development Program because our training is THAT good here. We travel every weekend to St. Louis, Lexington, Clarksville, Owensboro, Elizabethtown and Memphis to play since we can’t play here. Paducah is too good of a town and we have too many committed parents and players to ignore this need any longer. Please support this new park!
Such an important investment in our kids and region! This complex will help develop the level of soccer in Western Kentucky – soccer is fastest growing sport in the US and this complex will help keep up with the demand for more playing facilities at the local and regional level – so exciting!
I am thrilled with this plan! The soccer community in McCracken County is growing every year and the players and families need a safe facility that includes restrooms and level fields. Parks like the one proposed in this plan help make communities attractive to those considering investing in our local economy and produce revenue for the community when they host tournaments.
Mr. Jones, I’m a huge proponent of this plan. Over the last 9 years, my family has spent 10-12 weekends a year traveling to other communities to find adequate soccer facilities and competition. I am confident that a quality facility will draw similar crowds to the Paducah area.
The local soccer community, which is truly a regional entity, is a large, passionate group committed to growing the sport, creating healthy families, and developing top notch soccer talent. An expanded soccer complex would only enhance the efforts already underway.
Thanks for your leadership and your work on pursuing this project. I hope that the county leadership will find the appropriate path forward and then you’ll join us at the ribbon cutting for the new complex.
We drive to Paducah almost every day, from Princeton, KY, after school for my three kids to participate with travel soccer and baseball since there are so many more opportunities for quality coaching and teams. We could have traveled to Tennessee, Marshall, or another county. However, we chose Paducah based on the SportsPlex and the quality of the Pumas Soccer Club and Storm Baseball. I strongly support the investment in a quality sports park for the Paducah area. I have seen other sports parks that draw a large number of programs to their area and can only see this as a positive for the community. This is an exciting proposition that has garnered a great deal of discussion among our respective clubs. I commend all that are working so diligently to make this happen. We are hopeful that this will move forward to fruition. We will be monitoring the discussion closely.
So many possibilities for revenue into the city and county with the addition of a state-of -the-art sports complex! This is exciting news… I hope plans move forward! Soccer is growing all around us. It makes sense to join in and be a part of the growth!
Paducah/McCracken Co. needs a nicer soccer facility. We travel all over the region playing soccer. From our travels we have seen what other communities are capable of when it comes to nice soccer fields. This area could benefit greatly from a better facility.
Having a soccer complex in Paducah is much needed! My son travels anywhere from 2 – 4 hours, multiple times a month, to play soccer in tournaments/league play all over Kentucky. Many tournaments dates require advanced hotel stays due to the massive number of athletes coming to cities. This would be a fantastic investment into our local athletes AND to the economy of our area. All sorts of businesses would flourish with having such a complex in Paducah. It could be even more of a draw for an already growing area!!
Thank you for listening! Having 5 (playable) soccer fields in one location provides more practice fields for the community and would allow us to host soccer tournaments. A mile off of I-24 makes it so easy for out of town teams to come in and play. Plus the hotels, shopping and restaurants are right there!
Paducah needs this. We would love to not have to travel out of town every weekend for games and tournaments. This would greatly benefit kids, families, and businesses.
This complex would be an asset to all ages and businesses while bringing Paducah into the realm of hosting substantial soccer tournaments. Participation in the sport of soccer is on the rise. McCracken County needs this soccer complex!
Paducah has a great set up to host tournaments. Most soccer complexes are located 15-20 minutes from hotels & restaurants. The Sportsplex is a much better location than other soccer tournaments that we have went to. I would also utilize an indoor running track. The nearest indoor track is SIU or Murray State.
This would be amazing to be able to bring teams and their families to our community! As a family who has traveled for both baseball and soccer, we know the money we spend else where on a weekly basis from Feb-Nov. These fields are greatly needed and will be used by all ages! Very exciting to think we could travel 10 minutes vs 3hrs to play competitive soccer! Let’s do this!!
This would be incredible!! Our son is an avid soccer player, and the number of kids participating in soccer has grown so much over just the past few years. The need for high quality fields is now! Not only will the participation in soccer increase with great facilities, the ability to host tournaments will bring money into the community. We have great soccer programs in place at our schools and with both club and recreational programs. Supporting this will be beneficial to so many, and give more kids (and adults) opportunities to play “the beautiful game”.